Joe Dumars, Pistons President of Basketball Operations,
faced a significant amount of pressure from fans to select a point guard –
notably a local favorite – in the 2013 NBA Draft. Believing that he already has
his point guard in veteran Brandon Knight, Dumars instead used the No. 8 pick
to select natural shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope of Georgia.
The Pistons had the option of taking point guards Michael
Carter-Williams, C.J. McCollum or Trey Burke, the standout from U-of-M who
wound up being drafted right after Caldwell-Pope. Dumars also could have opted
for swingman Shabazz Muhammad of UCLA, known mainly for his sensational scoring
In the end, Caldwell-Pope appeared to the Pistons to be the
best fit. KCP offers scoring, slashing, speed and athleticism on both ends of
the floor. Detroit believes they have a player who can pair with Knight, who
spent time last year at both guard spots, in the backcourt to speed the tempo
of the team's offense while also spreading the floor for big men Greg Monroe
and Andre Drummond.
As of this moment, KCP is likely penciled in as the Pistons'
starting shooting guard with backup Rodney Stuckey likely to be traded or
released before the start of training camp this fall. Monroe, Drummond, Knight
and Kyle Singler are the others currently penciled in the starting five.
In the second round of the 2013 Draft, the Pistons selected
Tony Mitchell of North Texas State with the No. 37 pick and Peyton Siva of
Louisville at No. 56. Mitchell will likely back up Monroe at power forward
while Siva will spell Knight at point guard.
This draft didn't go the way fans wanted or expected, but Dumars and his staff are convinced they've made the Pistons better, faster and more athletic. With the organization expected to be active in free agency, which begins next week, Detroit has a chance to turn the corner and work its way back up to respectability.